Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oopzie! UFT and NYSUT Goof Again

Education/ legal expert Campbell Brown is at it again, and this week, rather than simply labeling teachers a bunch of shiftless perverts via stereotype, she's going after teacher tenure for all of us. She won't tell us where her money comes from, but I'm pretty sure it comes from our good pals in Reformyville.

Do you know where Reformyville is? It's the place where teachers can be judged by value-added via test scores. I watched up close and personal while former NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi was excoriated for his participation in the NY State evaluation law. This couldn't be tolerated. And thus Michael Mulgrew's UFT leadership told Unity's loyalty-oath-bound faithful to dump him, leaving him with a 34% vote deficit before he lifted a finger to protect his job.

And yet--pardon me if I'm not recalling correctly--Mulgrew himself was part of the team that negotiated this law. It was the bestest thing ever. Finally, he told us at the DA, we would have multiple measures. Before, principals could do whatever they liked. Now, everything was perfect. We could negotiate evaluation ourselves. Unless, of course, we couldn't, in which case totally objective John King could just do whatever he wished.

The point is, we played ball on evaluations. We played ball on mayoral control, not once, but twice, after we knew it was an unmitigated disaster. We sat on the sidelines while Bloomberg changed the law and bought himself a third term. We supported and helped enable Race to the Top. We supported Barack Obama, who promised he'd find comfortable shoes and stand with labor when we were under attack. We supported Common Core and Arne Duncan, the man who stood in front of God and everybody and stated that Hurricane Katrina was the best thing that ever happened to education in New Orleans, the man who ridiculed suburban mothers when their kids failed tests for which they were utterly unprepared. And we didn't say boo when Andrew Cuomo took mayoral control away from Bill de Blasio and passed it to Eva Moskowitz.

And here's what UFT leadership told us when they sold us the sellout 2005 contract, the one that created the wretched absent teacher reserve--they won't like us if we don't take it. The tabloids will attack us. What will they say? Actually, I saw the same questions asked as they sold the current contract.

But here's the thing--self-proclaimed progressive Wayne Barrett just wrote a piece that basically condemned de Blasio for paying us the retro that matched a previous pattern. Chalkbeat NY penned a column about how their reformy pals consider it a waste of money to pay us for our work. And now, because it is not enough that we've decimated seniority with the ATR, because it's not satisfactory that they now get second-tier due process, because junk science is not firing enough teachers, they are using a nonsensical rationale that the only way to protect children is to make us at-will employees.

We, the UFT, NYSUT, and the AFT have played ball with the reformers. When we give them an inch, they want a yard. Appeasement doesn't work. Guess what? They don't like us, they never have, and they never will.

And if NYSUT, UFT, and AFT don't support Zephyr Teachout's primary bid against Charter Champ Andrew Cuomo, that only proves we've learned nothing.
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